One in 11 adults has diabetes while 8.4 million or 9.2-per cent adult population of Bangladesh have been suffering from the silent killer, a recent study said.
Of them, only 4.0-million patients were diagnosed with diabetes in 2019 while 57 per cent patients are unaware of their disease.
The number of diabetes patients has been increasing at a rate of 79 per cent in Bangladesh against the global 51 per cent.
Bangladesh is the 10th diabetes burden country in the world. Some 15 million adults could have diabetes by 2045.
In 2019, some $535million was spent treating diabetes which is expected to increase 45 per cent in 2045. Globally, diabetes patients will reach 700 million.
The findings were revealed during a press meet on the 'launch of the world's fastest-acting insulin in Bangladesh' at a city hotel on Thursday.
Novo Nordisk Bangladesh launched the product after five years but did not disclose the price and the brand name of the fast-acting insulin aspart.
Prof Dr AK Azad Khan, president of Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (BADAS), along with other senior high-ups of the company launched the new product.
Danish pharma giant Novo Nordisk in partnership with Eskayef Pharmaceuticals Ltd of Transcom Group has been manufacturing insulin in Bangladesh since 2012.
Transcom Distribution Company distributes the insulin across the country.
Novo Nordisk launched the world's fastest-acting insulin for the patients living with diabetes in Bangladesh as the number of diabetics is on the rise with rapid urbanisation and changed lifestyle.
This fast-acting insulin aspart will work four times faster than short-acting human insulin and two times faster than conventional rapid-acting insulin.
It can be used in people with type-1 and type-2 diabetes, both elderly and children above one year, and pregnant and lactating mothers, according to a Novo Nordisk statement.
"People living with diabetes often struggle to control blood glucose, especially around mealtimes. This can be extremely challenging and may result in devastating diabetes-related complications," said Dr Khan.
The innovation of fast-acting insulin will help patients achieve desired blood glucose level with less hypoglycaemia and other related complexities, he added.
Dr Khan said Bangladesh had never shortage of insulin as Novo Nordisk has been working here since 1958.
More than 50 per cent of the total diabetics are not diagnosed yet as they are not well aware, he added.
Replying to queries, the BADAS chief said the prevalence of prediabetes is more in rural areas and diabetes in urban areas.
Prediabetes means sugar level at 3.5 to 5.5 points. When the level is over 7.0 points in empty stomach, it is diabetes, he stated.
Per-capita income in India is higher than Bangladesh, but there is a shortage of insulin unlike Bangladesh, Dr Khan mentioned.
"The poor are getting basic insulin for free from the government for type-1 diabetes. But for type-2 diabetes, people have to buy insulin."
Mihail Briciu, vice-president and general manager of Novo Nordisk Bangladesh, said they are continuously finding new solutions to improve diabetes management.
More innovative treatment options are in the pipeline for people living with diabetes here, he asserted.
In terms of diabetes care products, Novo Nordisk is the world's number one. As a drug-maker, the position of Novo Nordisk is 10th globally, Mr Briciu said.
His company is affiliated in 80 countries. Some 30-million people use Novo Nordisk products globally.
Novo Nordisk markets its products in 170 countries.